Nores Knows

We were delighted to be invited by Nores to Stockholm and Bergen to talk about English Sparkling Wine.  The on-trade in Norway and Sweden have embraced our fine fizz and wanted to know a little more about it, so we gave them a little snapshot of the industry.

 Recently there has been a dramatic increase in planting vineyards. At the last count, there were about 3,700 Ha under vine (up 80% since 2015) and 658 vineyards. Most of the grapes planted are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varieties. Typically vineyards tend to be in the South East although vineyards are everywhere. We were particularly struck by the ambition of Chateau Hebrides. Many vineyards are planted on chalk or greensand in virgin soil, and most vineyards are tended with great respect for the environment.

 Naturally this boom has been prompted by England getting warmer. We now have a goldilocks climate for grapes: not too hot, not too cold. While other wine-growing regions are struggling to manage their viticulture in hotter temperatures, England enjoys a climate that is cool enough to retain acidity  in the grapes which is so important for a zippy fresh taste and for bottle lees ageing. The gently ripening grapes slowly build up phenolics over the long growing season and taste absolutely delicious.

England currently produces about 15,000,000 bottles a year, of which about 70% are Sparkling wines. Almost all are made in the Traditional Method, which is appropriate given that it was the English who – copying the cider-makers – first made Traditional Method Sparkling Wine. So, its coming home, its coming home, its coming ….

 English Sparkling Wine tends to be an artisanal product, crafted in boutique wineries, with smaller production figures than Champagne, Prosecco, Sekt, and Cremants. Its also the most exciting place to be making wine right now: quality is assured by the English Sparkling PDO regime, but there is still a little space for wine-making innovation. The wines are getting better and better.

 We very much appreciated Nores’s invitation and the opportunity to share what is going on with the vines and wines of our green and pleasant land.  We were very grateful for such a warm welcome from some fabulous friends and look forward to popping many corks together.

Continue

Reading

News
Bee Supportive

Bee Supportive

If – like us – you’re worried about the plight of the bumblebee, please support The Bumblebee Conservation Trust. In the last 80 years bumblebee populations have plummeted, and two species have even become extinct in the UK.

Articles
TIPSY-TONGUED

TIPSY-TONGUED

The English language is surprisingly rich in the language of inebriation. If someone is a little ‘tipsy' – in the sense of slightly drunk and unsteady, rather than tipsy in the sense of askew or tilted (although they could be that too) – then there are many words to describe them.

Articles
Toast

Toast

First of all, why is a toast is called a toast? Apparently it was the Romans who first dropped burnt bread – known as ‘tostus’ meaning roasted or parched in latin – into their wine. The charcoal of burnt toast would soak up some of the acidity in inferior wine and make it more palatable.